Yin Mei | Peony Dreams: On The Other Side Of Sleep

May 09 - May 10, 2019


Ellen Stewart Theatre | 66 East 4th Street (2nd Floor)

Thursday & Friday at 7PM

$25 Tickets; $20 Student/Senior Tickets [+$1 Facility Fee]

Concept & Choreography by Yin Mei

New York’s Yin Mei Dance brings this inspired new take on The Peony Pavilion, one of the most revered plays in Chinese literature. A surreal and epic love story, set amidst the violence of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, Peony Dreams: On the Other Side of Sleep follows a young dancer who is compelled on a journey across time and space, fiction and reality, life and death. Don’t miss this stunning, boundary-defying new work of dance-theater; an insightful look at the liminal space between reality of our personal histories and our memories of them.


Creative Team

Concept & Choreography by Yin Mei
Directed by Yin Mei
Text Written by Yin Mei
Art by George Tsypin
Lighting Design by Clifton Taylor
Music/Sound Design by Cenk Ergün
Installation/Immersive by Yin Mei

About the Artists

YIN MEI DANCE is a transdisciplinary contemporary dance company based in New York City with strong ties to China. The company has toured across the USA, Asia, and Europe in notable venues from Jacob’s Pillow, Yerba Buena, Lincoln Center, The City Center, DTW, LaMaMa, Movement Research at Judson Church, Theatre du Chartelet Paris, National Theater of Beijing and Nanjing, and many others. Before coming to the United States to study modern dance on a grant from the Asian Cultural Council, Yin Mei was a professional dancer with the Henan Song and Dance Troupe and later the principal dancer with the Hong Kong Dance Company. She is now a professor and the director of dance at Queens College, CUNY. Yin Mei Dance was formed in 1995 and presents a unique dance style employing Chinese energy, direction, and spatial principles as a means of creating new dance works within the rubric of contemporary dance theater. The work explores themes of artistic and spiritual significance arising at the intersection between Asian traditional performance and Western contemporary dance.
YIN MEI is a category-defying director/choreographer/performance artist known for creating contemporary dance theater works that fearlessly bridge geographic, technological, artistic and cultural divides to conjure a unique brand of theatrical magic. Yin Mei's recent works include physical theater Antigone (2017) and Seven Sages of the Bamboo Grove, a commision for the Hong Kong Dance Company that premiered in 2012.  Widely seen as breaking new ground in combining traditional and contemporary dance styles, the work featured innovative “live cinema” staging by noted theater director Jay Scheib (World of Wires, Bellona The Destroyer).  In April 2012, Yin Mei was the choreographer for a production of the opera Nixon In China at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris under the direction of Chen Shi-Zheng (Peony Pavillion).  Other notable work includes the contemporary ballet A Scent of Time for the Beijing Dance Academy’s 36 Ballet Company; City Of Paper, a dance theater work created in collaboration with visual designer Tennessee Rice Dixon; Nomad: The River, a multi-media dance theater work; /Asunder, created in collaboration with installation artist Cai Guo-Qiang and composer Robert Een; and Empty Tradition/City of Peonies, conceived, choreographed and directed by Yin Mei, in collaboration with Indonesian composer Tony Prabowo and MacArthur Award winning Chinese visual artist Xu Bing.
Yin Mei’s choreography is described by critics in terms that reveal an uncanny, almost magical, effect on audiences:  Nomad: “real yet unreal, vivid yet somehow misted in beauty, . . . the work brushes our minds with images whose poetry ensnares us, whose enigmas taunt us” (Village Voice).  /Asunder: “filled with movement that translates an agony that is repeatedly saved with an embrace” (Dance Insider).  Empty Tradition:  “the piece proceeds from one distilled memory to another, not illustrating them but evoking their emotions in passages of shimmering, pensive and abrupt movement” (New York Times).          
Yin Mei grew up in China and was a principal dancer with the Hong Kong Dance Company before coming to New York on a grant from the Asian Cultural Council. She has been a Professor of Dance at Queens College (CUNY) since 1995.
George Tsypin graduated from the Moscow School of Architecture in 1977. The same year he got the Second Prize for the International Competition «New and Spontaneous Ideas for the Theater for Future Generations.» In 1984, he graduated from the New York University (Department of Design for Stage and Film). He worked for many years with renowned directors such as Julie Taymor, Peter Sellars, Pierre Audi, Francesca Zambello, Jürgen Flimm and Andrey Konchalovsky and has a special creative relationship with the conductor Valery Gergiev. He worked with the Metropolitan Opera in New York (Prokofiev’s Gambler and War and Peace, Berlioz’s Benvenuto Cellini, Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Tchaikovsky’s Mazepa), Opéra Bastille in Paris, La Scala in Milan, Royal Opera House in Covent Garden in London, Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow (Puccini’s Turandot and Prokofiev’s Flaming Angel), Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg (Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Prokofiev’s Gambler and War and Peace, Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov and Wagner’s Ring Cycle) among others as well as at the Salzburg Festival. He designed The Little Mermaid and Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark (Tony Award Nomination) on Broadway. In 1999, he created the Planet Earth Gallery, one of the Millennium Projects in England: a major installation of moving architectural elements, videos and 200 sculptures. In 2002, he exhibited his works at the Venice Biennale. He is a recipient of numerous awards and author of the book George Tsypin Opera Factory: Building in the Black Void (2005, Golden Pen Award). He was artistic director, production designer and coauthor of the script for the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games in Sochi in 2014 and was nominated for an Emmy Award. In 2014, together with Jürgen Flimm worked on the production of Puccini’s Manon Lescaut at the Mikhailovsky Theatre.
Clifton Taylor has created lighting for over 29 years, , projection and scenic designs for theater, dance and opera companies around the world, as well as designing on a number of unique concert events that defy categorization.  His work has been seen on Broadway, Off-Broadway, as well as at the world's major arts festivals including the Venice Bienalle, Vienna Festival, Jacob's Pillow, Singapore's Festival of Asian Arts, Arts Summit/Jakarta, the Hong Kong Festival, the Istanbul Festival, the Hamburg Summer Festival, The Lincoln Center Festival and BAM/Next Wave. In addition, Mr. Taylor has been the theater consultant on new large scale theatrical venues in several countries and is a sought after teacher and lecturer on theatrical lighting especially in the area of color and light.  In 2002 he was awarded a grant from the Asian Cultural Council to develop and teach a course in design for the Royal University of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. He presented at New York’s Broadway Lighting Master Class from 1997 - 2014 and is a former member of the Juilliard School’s Dance Faculty.
Cenk Ergün (b.1978, Turkey) is a composer and improviser based in New York. His music has been performed by artists such as So Percussion, JACK Quartet, Alarm Will Sound, Wet Ink, Yarn/Wire, Ensemble Laboratorium. As an improviser, he performs electronics in groups with the likes of Alvin Curran, Jason Treuting, and Grey McMurray. Venues that have featured Ergün's music include New York's Carnegie Hall, Le Poisson Rouge, The Roulette, The Stone, 92Y; Amsterdam's Muziekgebouw, Zurich's Tonhalle, and Istanbul's Babylon. Some events Ergün has participated in are NY Phil Biennial, Lincoln Center Festival, Gaudeamus Music Week, MATA Festival, Bang on a Can Marathon, WNYC's New Sounds Live, Peak Performances at Montclair University, Stanford Lively Arts, and San Francisco Electronic Music Festival. His first solo composition record, Nana, was released in 2014 on Carrier Records. Other releases include The Art Of The Fluke with Alvin Curran and So Percussion's Cage 100 Bootleg Series. Ergün's music has been described as "intense", "haunting", "ominously throbbing" (NY Times), "psychedelically meditative" (New Music Box), and as showing "conceptual rigor" (The Wire).